Life 2.0

   
Like everyone, my life has seen multiple transitions from one stage to another. My recent experiences seem to have imparted a flavor somewhat different from previous changes, in that for the first time, the changes are physical rather than intellectual or emotional. It got me thinking back about what Willie Nelson called:
      Running through the changes
      Going through the stages
      Coming round the corners in my life.

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Poetry 1

We bury the dead in convenient haste,
my family.
A legacy perhaps.
We were pioneers
and those who struggle have little time for Death.
The act is stark, a black-and-white thing to do.
The Puritan knife that was our Will
carved a narrow way of life,
for all that life’s variety.
By a dying fire, good hunters, cleaning our weapons,
we turn, curious, in our hands
bits of lives that met our blade
but did not turn it:
a summer bluejay;
a favorite mare;
the odd young Englishman to cut the hay one year;
the son who drowned – was it accidental? –
big snows,
short summers
and a full table.
Death
was a held        breath.

The Funniest Expression I Heard Today

From Paul Krugman in the New York Times as he urges the Greek people to reject austerity by Euro-banksters:

“The troika clearly did a reverse Corleone — they made [Greek Prime Minister Alexis] Tsipras an offer he can’t accept, and presumably did this knowingly,” Krugman wrote.

Sounds like a high-dive maneuver in the Olympics.

Well, it is a high-dive, sort of.

Connections and connections and connections

Wise Old Indian says:
(How come we don’t have sayings of old Drunk Uncle Billy Bearpaw?)
  A man must discover who he is.
  A man must discover where he comes from.
  A man must discover why he’s here.

   I’m still working on #1, have a growing understanding of #2 and have at least discovered #3.
I’m here to learn and appreciate.

   When I was growing up in rural Colorado, I didn’t feel much connection with my contemporaries. For the most part, they prided themselves on being anti-intellectual, clung tightly to their ignorance and bullied anyone the least bit different or smaller. I was quite small for my age until my high school ‘growth spurt’ & was the teacher’s pet, so I came in for a lot of nastiness. Eventually, I learned to look out for myself, becoming a good boxer and wrestler who could think and act faster than the assholes, so they learned to leave me alone. That did not suddenly open the door to socialization and while I’m not anti-social, I decidedly failed to develop the usual social skills of teenagers. Read More

The 80,000-Volt Handcuffs That Let Cops Shock Prisoners

The quiet rise of “Stun-Cuffs” give police officers, prison guards and bailiffs an easy way to electrify people into submission.

The Atlantic, By Connor Friedersdorf, June 25

What gives an electric jolt as strong as a typical Tase but is designed for prisoners already in police custody rather than suspects not yet arrested? Wireless “Stun-Cuffs” from Myers Enterprises. “Today’s criminal is more hardened, desperate, and more dangerous than ever,” its imperfectly punctuated brochure warns. “Whether taking a prisoner for a doctor visit, transporting them for trial, interrogations or dealing with a prisoner that is under the influence. They must be controlled.”

Here’s how the devices work: A prisoner’s wrists or ankles are cuffed––and then, if the person holding the transmitter desires, he or she can send tens of thousands of volts of electricity coursing through the prisoner’s body from a distance of up to 100 yards. As the brochure puts it: “A demonstration of this in front of a prisoner and they will know if they are out of compliance the Single Cuff model will drop them.”

Dreams….?

   I used to fly hang-gliders, last time probably 20-25 years ago. There are two sorts of rising air: ridge lift in which an incoming wind hits the side of a mountain and rises. This frequently has turbulence caused by that same wind tumbling over the mountsins on the other side of the valley and usable ridge lift depends very much on wind speed. Too strong: unflyable, too weak, not enough lift. The trick is to stay aloft long enough to pick up the second type of rising air: thermals. Once located, one can get powerful lift, Problem with that is thin air and it’s damn cold.
   In a few places, a coastal cliff faces the wind and there’s nothing upwind to create turbulance. Wind speeds of 60+ are flyable and one can fly back and forth for hours. The lift from a vertical launch can be 2500-feet/minute and it’s an awesome jolt to step off a 3000-foot cliff and be 5000 up in a few seconds. Read More

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